Ons Jabeur and Aryna Sabalenka joined a growing list of tennis stars opting out of the Olympics on Monday.

Sabalenka, the reigning Australian Open champion and World No. 3, told reporters in Berlin that she was looking after her health while citing WTA tournament participation requirements. The Belarusian had struggled with a stomach bug during the French Open, where she lost in the semifinals of a major for the first time since 2022. 

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Similarly, Jabeur referenced the health risks that come with a change in playing surfaces. The World No. 10 has been battling knee injuries this season, and lost in the French Open quarterfinals to Coco Gauff

"Especially with all the struggles I was having last month, I feel like I need to take care of my health… It’s too much with the scheduling," Sabalenka told reporters. "It’s just too much. I made the decision to take care of my health."

Players will spend the next few weeks playing on grass in the lead-up to Wimbledon, while the Olympics will be played on clay at Roland-Garros. 

"After consulting with my medical team regarding attending the Olympics in Paris, we have decided that the quick change of surface and the body’s adaptation required would put my knee at risk and jeopardize the rest of my season," Jabeur tweeted on Monday. "Unfortunately, I will not be able to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics. I have always loved representing my country in any competition, However, I must listen to my body and follow my medical team’s advice."

The two join Emma Raducanu in opting out of the Olympics. Raducanu — who has dealt with a number of injuries since her US Open win in 2021 — said the change in surface was "not worth the risk."

The 2024 French Open starts on Sunday, with a match schedule that promises to wrap the short clay court season up in style.

Looking for her fourth title at the major is three-time Roland Garros champion and World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, considered the favorite to win the whole Slam. Three of her four major titles have come at the French tournament. 

Swiatek's career record at the French Open is a dominating 28-2, and she's currently on a 16-game winning streak fueled by victories at tune-up tournaments in Madrid and Rome.

But that doesn't mean she won't face some serious challengers along the way. Get to know some of the Polish tennis champ's strongest competitors.

Aryna Sabalenka

Sabalenka is ranked No. 2 in the world and faced Swiatek in the finals at both Madrid and Rome. She lost in three sets in Madrid, which included a close third-set tiebreak, before losing in straight sets at the Italian Open. 

She enters the French Open having won the Australian Open in January, successfully defending her title in the first Slam of the season. At last year’s French Open, Sabalenka reached the semifinals — a career best — before being ousted by Karolina Muchová in three sets.

Season record: 25-7

Coco Gauff

Currently sitting at No. 3 in the world, the highest-ranked American on the schedule is none other than Coco Gauff. Gauff won her first major at the US Open last year, and reached the semifinals of this year’s Australian Open. She faced Swiatek in the semifinals of the Italian Open last week, losing in straight sets. 

But her first major final came at the French Open in 2022, before being ousted by Swiatek in the quarterfinals at last year’s French Open. The two are on a crash course for a meeting before the finals, as Gauff anchors the other quadrant on Swiatek’s side of the draw, should they both advance deep into the competition.

Season record: 25-8

Naomi Osaka returned to tennis and returned to winning on Monday, defeating Tamara Korpatsch in the first round of the Brisbane International.

After taking a 6-3 win in the first set, she was broken while serving for the match 5-3 in the second set. Eventually, she won the second set in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (9). It was Osaka’s first win since giving birth to a daughter, Shai, in July.

Following the Brisbane International, Osaka will head to Melbourne for the 2024 Australian Open. The two-time Australian Open champion previously said that the year’s first Grand Slam would mark her return to tennis.

“I was super nervous the whole time,” the former No. 1-ranked Osaka said after her win. “A part of me felt like Shai was watching me. I wanted to do my best for her.”

And while the win didn’t come easy, Osaka looked sharp for someone who took a 15-month hiatus to give birth.

“Looking back on the match now, honestly I’m very proud of myself,” said Osaka. “I feel like I played at a pretty good level.”

Osaka is also looking at the sport differently than she did before.

“The last couple of years that I played before I had my daughter, I didn’t return as much love as I was given,” Osaka said. “I feel like that’s what I want to do in this chapter.

“I just really appreciate people coming out and knowing me and cheering for me, because I feel like there was a time I was just a little kid trying to watch my role models play. So it feels really surreal sometimes to be playing on these courts.”

Elsewhere, US Open champion Coco Gauff won her opener at the Auckland Tennis Classic, while World No. 1 Iga

Laura Siegemund hit back at the US Open crowd for showing her a lack of respect during her three-set loss to Coco Gauff in the first round of the Grand Slam tournament.

During the match, each player approached the chair umpire at least once with complaints. Siegemund did so twice, including after she received a time violation in the third set. Siegemund repeatedly took her time getting ready both on and off the serve, to which the American Gauff took offense and the crowd responded by booing.

“They treated me like I was a bad person,” Siegemund said of the fans during her post-match press conference. “Would I enjoy it more if you played a great shot and the people would scream and give you the respect you deserved for your performance in that moment? Yes, you enjoy it more.”

At different points during the match, the fans in Arthur Ashe Stadium made noises during Siegemund’s serves, calling “Time!” when she ran down the serve clock.

Siegemund complained to umpire Marijana Veljovic about the crowd, but there wasn’t much to be done.

“I never did anything against the audience,” she said. “I stayed calm. I never made — not even a gesture — against the audience. And they had no respect for me. They had no respect for the way I played. They have no respect for the player that I am. They have no respect for tennis, for good tennis. This is something that I have to say hurts really bad.”

Siegemund, a 35-year-old German and two-time Grand Slam doubles champion, said she was proud of how she played the match.

“As a tennis player, you are a performer,” she said. “You owe the people. … At the end of the day I go home and I look at myself and I can say I did a great job. But did I get anything from the people for that? I didn’t.

“They treated me bad. They treated me like I was a cheater. Like I was trying sneaky ways to win this match or something. They treated me like I was a bad person. But you know there are people who are throwing racquets, who are screaming, who are like making bad gestures toward the audience. I did not one moment in the whole match, and there was a lot of tension going on. Not one moment I did anything.

“I was just slow. That’s something in the rules, I get my time violation, that’s fine.”

Following the match, Gauff — who went viral for approaching the umpire — said she didn’t regret her response and wished she had said something about Siegemund’s delay tactics earlier. Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were in attendance for the match, and Gauff said Michelle praised her afterward speaking up for herself.

“I wasn’t sure if I was in the right or not until it, like, happened multiple times. Then I was like, OK, I know I’m in the right,” the 19-year-old said. “For me, I try my best not to let my emotions take over myself. I wanted to express my frustration but also being censored. … I was trying to best communicate how I was feeling to the referee. … I’d still say everything I said in that moment again.”

Gauff is moving onto the third round of the US Open after defeating Mirra Andreeva in straight sets on Wednesday.

Over a year since retiring from tennis, Ash Barty has given birth to a son.

The former World No. 1 announced the news Tuesday in an Instagram post.

“Our beautiful boy,” she wrote. “Welcome to the world, Hayden!”

Barty married Australian golfer Garry Kissick last July, and the three-time Grand Slam champion announced her pregnancy in January of this year. At the time, she touted 2023 as “the best year yet.”

The World No. 1 for 121 weeks, Barty announced her retirement last year after winning the Australian Open. She was the first Australian woman in 44 years to win her home major in singles, joining Chris O’Neil in 1978.

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek won her third French Open title in four years on Saturday, defeating Karolina Muchova in three sets, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.

Swiatek now owns four Grand Slam titles: three from the French Open (2020, 2022, 2023), plus last year’s U.S. Open. The 22-year-old tennis star from Poland is the youngest woman to own four Grand Slam trophies since a 20-year-old Serena Williams accomplished the feat at the 2002 U.S. Open.

After winning the first set handily, Swiatek went up 3-0 in the second — but the unseeded Muchova fought back and scored a few truly remarkable points, including this one:

Despite Swiatek’s previous experience hoisting the French Open trophy, this year’s celebration came with a surprise when the lid of the cup toppled off mid-celebration.

Wednesday’s French Open lineup featured upsets and rematches, as World No. 1 Iga Swiatek and No. 6 Coco Gauff met in the French Open for the first time since last year’s final.

Swiatek beat Gauff in straight sets once again, this time taking a 6-4, 6-2 win.

“I feel pretty satisfied with my game, I’m happy I was able to make it in two sets,” Swiatek told the Tennis Channel afterwards. “In the first set, in important moments, I was the one that was more solid. It wasn’t easy, especially with the wind today, but I’m happy I’m into the semifinal.”

The Polish star has won 14 straight sets against Gauff and owns a 7-0 career record in matches against the American teenager. Swiatek has also won 12 straight matches on the clay courts at Roland Garros, elevating her career win-loss record at the tournament to 26-2.

With the win, Swiatek advances to her third French Open semifinal. Each time she’s reached the semifinal previously at Roland Garros, she’s won the title.

But the three-time major champion will face a tough test Thursday in Beatriz Haddad Maia, who upset Ons Jabeur in three sets on Wednesday to become the first Brazilian woman since 1968 to reach a Grand Slam semifinal. In their only previous meeting last summer, Haddad Maia upset Swiatek on the hard courts of Toronto.

When Coco Gauff faced off against 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva of Russia during the third round of the 2023 French Open on Saturday, it marked the first time Gauff, 19, played a Grand Slam singles match against a player younger than herself.

Gauff, the runner-up at last year’s French Open, lost the first set to Andreeva, but rallied back in the next two sets, ultimately winning the match 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-1 to advance to the fourth round, where she’ll face Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

But while much of the media ahead of the match focused on age, that topic wasn’t on Gauff’s mind when she stepped onto the court.

“I was just thinking about playing the opponent,” she said. “To be honest, you don’t really think about (age) as an athlete.”

Asked after if she thinks the media focuses too much on that topic, Gauff smiled.

“I’m gonna be honest: Yes. … Age is important to mention sometimes but, as a player and going through it, yes, it gets a little bit annoying. Because I feel like I’m the type of person, I don’t need to be praised because of my age or anything. I prefer just to be praised because of my game, not because of things I’m doing at whatever age.”

Gauff added that she was baffled the other day when she saw a stat about how she had the most bagels (sets that end 6-0) of any teenager on tour.

“I feel like some of these stats, I don’t know, y’all be finding the smallest details,” she said. “I’m like who keeps track of this stuff?”

Even if Gauff doesn’t put much stock in age, she knows experience plays a role. She credits her years on the tour with helping her learn to control her body language, especially in moments of frustration.

“I didn’t realize how much my body language showed until I started watching the film of me,” Gauff explained. “I’m like, yeah, if I was the other side looking at me, I’d be like, ‘Yeah, this girl is down.'”

At moments during Saturday’s match, Andreeva appeared clearly frustrated, smashing a racket during the first set and later hitting a ball into the crowd. Asked by a reporter about her opponent’s “teenage behavior,” Gauff pushed back.

“It’s just being an athlete and being frustrated, to be honest. People do it at all ages, so I’m not gonna blame it on her age,” she said, noting that smashing a racquets is normal for athletes.

“I mean, you shouldn’t do it, but, you know, it’s part of growing up and part of life. So I’m not gonna sit here and berate her for it. I hope you guys don’t either.”

Just days after claims of sexism headlined the women’s tournament at the Madrid Open, this week’s Italian Open earned its own share of criticism.

The chaos in Rome culminated with the women’s singles final late on Saturday night. The match started at 11 p.m. following rain delays and two men’s semifinals that ended up headlining the night.

Shortly after midnight, Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan won the women’s title when Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina retired due to a left thigh injury. But confusion ensued during the awards presentation, when event organizers announced the winner before the runner-up (the opposite of protocol) and Rybakina had to ask for her own trophy.

Former Australian pro Rennae Stubbs called it the “worst trophy presentation” she had ever seen.

If anyone was surprised at the treatment of the women’s event, they shouldn’t have been. After all, the women’s prize pool at this year’s Italian Open was less than half of the men’s ($3.9 million vs. $8.5 million).

Rybakina walked away with $564,000 for winning the women’s title, while Daniil Medvedev earned nearly $1.2 million for his victory on Sunday. Even men’s runner-up Holger Rune earned more for his loss ($627,000) than Rybakina did for her victory.

Italian Open organizers say they intend to begin paying men and women equal prize money — but not until 2025.

Naomi Osaka is taking aim at the double standard that exists for female athletes who have kids.

“Btw to the people that are suddenly concerned about my career- There are plenty of male athletes with kids that are significantly less accomplished, you might wanna worry about them instead. Thanks for the concern, might wanna redirect it to someone that needs it though,” the four-time Grand Slam singles champion tweeted on Friday.

In a second tweet, Osaka added: “Not trying to make this a male and female thing but let’s be fr.”

In January, Osaka announced that she is pregnant with her first child. The 25-year-old tennis star is taking the 2023 season off, but said she hopes to make her competitive return at the 2024 Australian Open.

“One thing I’m looking forward to is for my kid to watch one of my matches and tell someone, ‘that’s my mom’, haha,” Osaka wrote in January.